Inviting Submissions for the month of December

We all see dreams. Don’t we? No, I am not talking about the one you see as being awake, like the dreams you have of becoming a doctor, an engineer or a writer and so on. I am here talking about the dreams you see while asleep, those which transfer your mind, body and soul into another realm of fantasy, sometimes truthful enough as if you are truly experiencing them.  And when you are awake you feel the essence of those dreams so strong that sometimes they stay with you for days, months or even long. Thus my dear fellow writers I am sure you must have guessed by now.  Yes, this month’s theme is to write a short story, poem or any piece of article that interprets about dreams and you can directly submit it to Kalaage or can email your proposal to monalisajoshi@outlook.com with “Plethora Submission” in the subject line.

You can be expressive of any of your true dreaming experience or create one. And if you wish you can share the story behind your write up, I would be much interested to read and publish them as well but keep it short. You are allowed to create a whimsical, folklore; fantasy based imaginative story or a poem about dreams. Length is as much you desire in poems but for stories keep it within 10, 000 word limit. Before submitting kindly go through the following guidelines.

  1. You can send one poem of any length.
  2. Likewise you can choose to send a short story on the theme given above keeping it within 10, 000 maximum word limit. However minimum word limit should be 3000 words not less than that.
  3. For articles you can send some research work about the same, if anything that truly fascinates your mind, but the work should be your own and if you are using any information source for your piece then do mention the link and name of the book or the author.
  4. Use Times New Roman with standard font size point 12, and do make sure that your work is proofread, typographical error free and your original piece.
  5. Previously published work is acceptable but you should be the sole owner of it.
  6. Only one poem, a short story or an article will be entertained per household, which means you can choose either to send any one of the above.
  7. Submission ends on 30th December 2017 (IST).

 

I hope you find the topic enthralling and inspiring, and it will make you hold the pen or your laptops and let those creative vibes flow out of them, as much I am willing to read your work.

 

Once again Happy Writing!

 

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The Gift of Forefathers

We are born. We live our life. We all die.  But when we live, we make memories. Knowingly or unknowingly, we follow the tradition, values, habits and much more which our ancestors had been following. The values, beliefs, and traditions become an integral part of life. We just not inherit the property and money; we also take over the legacy of customs, beliefs, tradition and teachings of our forefathers.

 

We may travel or live in any part of the world we will be still connected to our country, why?  Why is that we miss our home food, the festivities, the belief? Why do we follow certain rituals without even knowing the reason behind it? The Indian woman adorns herself with bindhi, sari and much more. The swastika, the religious symbol is the important symbol in our festivals. The guest visiting our home is equivalent to god.  Why do we follow all customs?

There are so many questions which pop up. The only answer is the legacy. These beliefs and customs are the gifts from our forefathers. They believed in it and followed it. These habits and rituals are a kind of USB which connect us with our ancestors. The relation with our descendants is intact because of customs and habits which our grandmother and mothers taught us.

There are some grandma habits which I follow in my routine life even today. One of them is the usage of mud kitchenware. I was hardly 6 when I asked my granny why you don’t use the modernized kitchen vessels. Why do you like making dosas on iron tawa instead of modernized equipment? She smiled. I was puzzled. The following day, I had dosa for my breakfast. I could taste little difference in the dosa. Nevertheless, I chose to ignore it. The same happened for lunch and dinner. Out of curiosity, I asked my grandmother about the taste. She replied with a smile. I was feeling little unusual. I got to know that the modern vessels are responsible for the changed taste. She then explained me the essence of using the mud pots and iron tawa. The nutrients content remain the same when we cook in the mud pots. And the mud pots enhance the taste of the food rather than submerging it. The iron Tawas make the dosa crisp and build up the iron content in it. I, even today use mud pots for cooking. It’s one of beneficial legacy I received from my grandmother.

In India, the significance of jewellery is well known. Every jewellery piece has its tale and represents the prestige of a woman, sacred symbol in all the festive days and even during the death funeral. Jewellery’s role in death funeral is rare to hear fact.  In Rajasthan, the woman wears a head jewellery called “bor” (round centrepiece and has chain links which extend and it is hanged with a hook in the hair just above the ear).It’s a suhagan jewellery (piece of jewellery which a lady can wear only after the wedding). The bride gets it on the day of her wedding from her in-laws. It’s adorned by every married woman after her marriage. Every important occasion, it can be any special day; a Rajasthani woman decorates herself with this piece of jewellery. Nevertheless, once during a funeral at my place, I found little strange that every married woman adorned herself with bor. I was baffled that except that of bor every other thing they wore even the color of the saree was according to the situation. Burning with curiosity, I enquired about it.  I got to know that it’s the custom followed for decades by their grannies. Now they are practising it. And this legacy will carry on from generation to generation. The reason behind this is very elementary and plain. It’s just worn because rest of the thing they wear to a funeral is dull color clothing and almost no jewellery. Wearing the bor symbolizes they are married women.  Moreover, Rajasthani’s believe, all dull and no jewellery for a married woman may bring bad luck.d1902c67ed7f50f19f7fedb5c3974b37--rural-india-india-fashion

Another interesting inherited habit from our ancestor is the home remedies, which we still follow.  Sometimes it makes me wonder how all these home remedies work. Without having any doctor degree granny’s home medicine do magic in healing.  Are you tired of coughing? Is allopathic medicine not working? My granny has magical syrup. Syrup of pomegranate’s dried skin boiled in water. It works like magic. Feeling uneasy?  2 Tablespoon lemon juice and hot water with salt and pepper comforts your uneasiness in minutes. Tragacanth gum, a “must have” product in all Rajasthani houses is the best medicine for mouth ulcers. When we denied going to school complaining of having stomach pains, granny would give us carom seeds mixed with little salt to drink along with water and send us to school.  Water mixed with salt and sugar can help us from diarrhea. Seena leaves for constipation. The home medicine list is the never-ending one. My ancestors practiced these home medicines and passed on this legacy. Even today my granny tells us the story of their home medicine’s wonder. Now we have doctors on every street. But 20-30 years back finding a doctor that too in the countryside was near to impossible. The only ray of hope was home medicine. It is a gift to us from our ancestors. It connects us to the past. Today when I use these home tricks I remember my grandparents.  It’s one of the best things I have inherited.

Today we live in apartments. Independent houses are rare to find. Families living with extended family are quite an unusual thing. Regardless of this fact, when I go to my village, where my ancestors lived I find a house of legacy. It’s a century old individual house.  Its a big house where 20-25 people can stay together. The house had a privilege which most of the kids belonging to this era do not have. The house had pictured 3 generation of the extended family living together in harmony and love. Inside the house, there is an open area just closed with iron grills called Chowk. All the houses had the same style of architecture. All the house had chowk as a sign of good luck. As the sun rises, the ray of hope and happiness and good luck reaches the house.  Sadly, I cannot find chowk in any of the modern houses. My granny says if we have chowk at home, Vaastu does not need a check.  I live in a joint family with extended family. My home has a chowk. Living with extended family is pure bliss. There are advantages of living in a joint family. It has its own essence. My grandparents have passed on this legacy of living in joint family. In spite of difference, I live in a joint family. It helps us in the fine-tuning of our relationship with others. The chowk connects us with our forefathers. It reminds us of the bygone era and architecture.

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but things of your forefathers and yours passed on to your blood remains as a legacy”- anonymous

For instance, I being a vegetarian is because of my ancestors. I am proud of every gift they have given me. The above mentioned are few of them. When mother and grandmother tell us the tale of the past. Listen to it carefully. Knowingly, they are preparing us for the future and passing on their legacy. The gift of custom, beliefs, rituals, habits and tradition which may help us in a lot of ways. Every tale of theirs has some hidden message for. They pass on their experience and lessons learned from their fathers and mothers to their children as bonuses and reward. Where ever we go and where ever we may live their teachings, beliefs, tradition and custom will connect us to our motherland and ancestors. Our origination will remain intact.

Article By: A. Divya Jain

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A. Divya Jain is a passionate writer. She has a blog and her certain previous work has been published in the magazine “Infinite Thoughts”.


I Carry Her Shade

They envied me for carrying beauty,

Asking how I could steal the charm of flowers;

They envied me for working hard on my duty,

Asking how I could steal the devotion of the divine;

They envied me for being a universal lover,

Asking how I could steal the heart of nature;

They envied me for giving a brave cover,

Asking how I could steal the thunder of storms;

They envied me for being perseverant,

Asking how I could steal the strength of mountains;

They envied my humility in being tolerant,

Asking how I could steal the humbleness of rivers;

They envied me for being simple and kind,

Asking how I could steal the serenity of the sky;

They envied me for spreading thoughts of a bright mind,

Asking how I could steal the sparks of a firefly;

They envied me for being vibrant without worries,

Asking how I could steal the dynamism of wind;

They envied me for my fascinating stories,

Asking how I could steal the music of the Gods;

To all of which, I just uttered,

I am only a shadow of my mother.

Now, there is no more hatred,

And everywhere it is shade…

 

Poem By: Ruchika Pahwa

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About the Author

Ruchika Pahwa, born and brought up in New Delhi, India, is an editor and writer by profession. She is also a psychologist and human resource professional, who turned to become a content management consultant when her passion became her profession. Ruchika is currently living happily with her parents and two siblings in New Delhi. She is an ardent lover of poetry, music, food, photography and all that invites creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tabooed

 

Hush, we don’t speak about it!

They whispered at the back of,

The curtains and soon the older

Voice, whose face was hidden,

Behind her tippet, was giggling,

In a laughter loud, then the other,

Mellowed voice hushed her with,

A pat, hush now, we don’t speak,

Of it before the marital bliss, it’s,

Resting as a sacred fruit, lying in,

Your belly there, for you to know,

To be tasted by both, him and you,

Through your nuptial nights,

And many more nights of bliss,

 

Awaits you to go, do not be wild,

Stay in your confines, let him make,

The stir first, but don’t forget to reveal,

Your clandestine passion and needs,

Resting to be unfolded by his manly,

Touch; give him the glass of milk,

It’s for them to sulk deeper into their,

Deviant amorous moods, for you he waited,

And you for him, the divine sacrament,

Of your life would begin on a bed,

And so the maids are adorning it with hues,

Of spring, from velvety roses, to jasmine,

And tuberose’s fine, they shall fill both,

Your senses to make the night desiring,

 

And the gang giggled again in between,

Hearing of the older woman’s rhyme,

They were all whispering the songs of,

Hymen, the songs of nuptial, telling new,

Bride to utter coyness, for they loved,

Much their women to be shy hush oh!

Hush not to speak of your earthly love,

And neither spread words of how good,

Your male makes love! They are there, sitting,

Afar, they fetch your men in dark hours,

It’s their stomach that fills with manly odours,

You my dear one, never fear, tie him in,

Love yours so pure and sinuous both,

Make him love you more time and forth,

 

This red attire will come to the floor, and,

You shall stand as transparent as ever in his,

Twain eyes, make him see your pure soul,

For he deserves more and much of you,

Let him play a little abuse, on your bare,

Skin; allowing him to reach your heart,

You too shall see, tonight the forbidden,

The tabooed love, hush oh! Hush girls,

We are women, don’t gossip these words,

Here in these parts, and amid the teasing,

And widened eyes of other youthful,

Women, the older woman kept on telling,

 

The tales of romance hush oh! Hush,

We don’t talk about this, we are tabooed,

Said the older woman, from behind her weary,

Eyes, and all the time the curtain of their mud,

Casements kept flowing hearing incessant whispers,

Of these women who were bound within their,

Confines, yet they talked of making love,

And of earthly desires, from the mouths,

Of their descendants came travelling the folklore,

Of man and woman’s corporeal love,

Ti’s the eastern world where the god dwells,

And the fruit is ever ripe for man to make love,

The taboo was just a myth, even in the,

Hushed tones! They whispered the forbidden words…

 

Poem By: Monalisa Joshi